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Supporters of adding linear park to top of Edmonton bridge host High Level Line Day

April 3: A beloved Edmonton attraction will soon expand. There will be a new stop for the High Level Bridge streetcar. But to get closer to Whyte Ave., it will mean having to cross a busy street first. Vinesh Pratap reports.

Proponents of converting the top of the High Level Bridge into a linear park — to connect downtown Edmonton and Old Strathcona — have organized a Saturday afternoon event to show how the space could be used.

“We see this corridor as an opportunity to have a really vibrant linear park that is four kilometres long in the heart of our city,” Gillian Thomson, vice chair of the High Level Line Society, said in an interview.

“[The] event is to call on the community to see what can we do, in a really small way, that doesn’t require development or permanent changes, just to show what the line could be like.”

Ideally, the group hopes to work with the city’s planning department to set aside space — opening the area up and joining the two tourist destinations. Thomson said that work is still to come, however a report will go to city council later this fall explaining the vision of the project.

READ MORE: High Level Line would create park linking downtown Edmonton with Old Strathcona

“We came up with this proposal and shared it publicly almost two years ago now, and since then, we’ve formed a non-profit society dedicated to the advocacy of this project.”

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“We’ve gained some momentum, even just within the community, people are referring to it as High Level Line now. There is some potential that it could become a real project.”

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READ MORE: Edmonton Project aims to unleash creativity to better the city

Watch below: Saturday was officially proclaimed as High Level Line Day in Edmonton. People were invited to ride the street car and check out all the corridors along the line that connects downtown to Old Strathcona using the High Level Bridge.

Sept. 7 proclaimed as High Level Line Day in Edmonton
Sept. 7 proclaimed as High Level Line Day in Edmonton

Thomson described the Saturday event as a family-friendly opportunity to take in activities at Railtown Park, Ezio Faraone Park and at the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market.

“Just to think… the legislature is open to doing extra tours and the farmer’s market extending their hours (to 5 p.m.). That’s an example of how this line could connect the neighborhoods and businesses that are not just right on the line, but even the communities around it.

“The streetcar will be running their regular fare and schedule with two vintage streetcars.

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“So that’s, right now, the only way you can experience the top of the High Level Bridge and the tunnel so we encourage everyone to come down, ride the streetcar one way, then walk or bike or scooter the way back. And just kind of visit all of these activations along the way.”

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The event runs from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Watch below (Sept. 29, 2017): Global Edmonton meteorologist Jesse Beyer takes the controls of the High Level streetcar for this special fall weather forecast.

‘I’m driving the High Level streetcar right now!’
‘I’m driving the High Level streetcar right now!’
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